5 reasons why Canberra will win the W-League

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With back-to-back wins Canberra United is looking the goods after only four rounds of the Westfield W-League season.

A tough 1-0 victory over Brisbane Roar up in Queensland followed by a 5-2 demolition job of Newcastle have well and truly affirmed United’s title credentials.

While it’s still early days there are plenty of reasons for Canberra fans to be excited, here’s five of them.

1. Experience

Canberra are no strangers to W-League success having won two Grand Finals, in 2012 and 2015. In addition to club prestige the women in green boast some of the most influential players in the country and abroad. Matildas Michelle Heyman and Ashleigh Sykes are a constant menace for any W-League defence whilst Japanese import Yukari Kinga has over 90 caps for her country. Coupled with inaugural captain Ellie Brush, United are more than prepared for another title challenge.

2. Youngsters

In addition to boasting an array of experience, Canberra also have some of the most promising youngsters in the country on their books. The likes of Grace Maher, Hayley Raso and Jenna McCormick have all served their apprenticeships and are ready to take that next step. Raso has already made 14 appearances for the Matildas whilst McCormick is an established W-League defender. Maher meanwhile made her debut in Round 3 and put in an impressive 90 minutes last week in a performance that also included a goal.

3. Imports

United’s final piece of the puzzle comes in the form of their overseas contingent. As mentioned above, Canberra snared the valuable signature of Japanese stalwart Kinga but have also brought in some impressive stateside talent. Striker Jasmyne Spencer has shown she’ll be a real handful for defences whilst Stephanie Ochs and Celeste Boureille, both from California, have more than held their own in the physical environment down under.

4. Firepower

Canberra’s thumping of Newcastle showed the rest of the competition just how lethal they can be in front of goal. While the games against Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar didn’t lack in chances, United failed to convert their dominance. They had no such problems on the weekend as they put the Jets to the sword. Heyman grabbed a double to indicate she will once again be a force to be reckoned with while Sykes caused headaches for the Jets’ back four all afternoon.

5. City match

Last but certainly not least, United’s performance in Round 1 against the reigning champs was positive. Despite going down 2-1, Canberra did more than enough to win, dominating territory and creating a glut of chances. Having ex-player Lydia Williams in goal for City didn’t help but United will be buoyed knowing that they can take it to the competition’s benchmark team if they meet later on.

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Dominic Unwin
Third year Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Interests include sports history and stats...you know, all the fun stuff.

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